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How to get Permanent Residency in Portugal

A Comprehensive and Personalized Experience to Navigating Portugal’s Residence Permit Application Process. With Support Every Step of the Way.

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How can a lawyer help with Portuguese permanent residency?

Navigating the transition from a temporary to a permanent residence can be complex and demanding. Here’s how our team of seasoned immigration lawyers can ensure your upgrade to a permanent residence is handled with professionalism and care:

1. Efficient Residence Upgrade: Move from a temporary to a permanent residence with ease. Our lawyers are proficient in handling the necessary procedures to upgrade your residence status, ensuring you gain more rights and stability.

2. Document Guidance and Translation Services: Understanding and compiling the right documents is crucial. We provide expert advice on the necessary paperwork and assist in obtaining sworn translations, ensuring everything is in order for your application.

3. Direct Liaison with Immigration Authorities: Our team maintains close communication with Immigration Authorities to expedite your application process. We aim for quick and efficient processing, minimizing delays and stress.

4. Commitment to Prompt Responses: We understand the importance of timely communication. That’s why we commit to answering all your questions within 24 hours, providing reliable and swift support throughout your immigration journey.


This is a type of residence permit that authorizes the holder to reside and work in Portugal. It gives the holder the same rights and conditions as Portuguese nationals and is considered to be a long-term document.

There are six basic ways to obtain long-term residence permits in Portugal. They include marriage, family reunification, study, work, investment or retirement and each has its own process. If the applicant lives outside the European Union, they will need to apply the right visa and once it’s accepted, they can apply for residency with the Portuguese government.

The permanent residence is typically the next step for people who have held a temporary residence permit for at least five years.

For non-EU nationals that intend to stay in Portugal for more than three months, the first step is obtaining a long-term residence visa that allows you to apply for a Portuguese residence permit.

The first document, which is a residence permit card, is granted for two years and can be renewed for a further three years. After five years, you can apply for the permanent residence permit card.

This gives you the opportunity to permanently live in Portugal and is part of the process for applying for Portuguese Citizenship. 

All non-EU citizens applying for a Portuguese residence permit must show that they have sufficient financial resources to fund their lifestyle as well as evidence of accommodation in Portugal. 

There are sometimes additional documents and requirements, depending on the reason given for requesting a Portuguese residence permit, and our Portuguese Immigration lawyers are eager to help with this.

After five years legally living in Portugal, you can upgrade your status by applying for permanent residence.

1. After five years or residency in Portugal, you can begin to gather the necessary documentation to apply for citizenship.

2. Next, you must attend an appointment with SEF, which is Portugal’s Border Service, to apply for the new Permanent Residency Permit. A decision is made within 90 days.

3. After the permit is approved, the Portuguese Permanent Residency card is issued within 90 days.

As part of the Portugal’s residency program, the application for the permanent residence permit must be filed with the country’s borders and immigration agency. You must also meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a temporary residence permit for at least five years
  • Not been convicted of a crime punishable with a prison sentence of more than 1 year
  • Evidence of sufficient financial means
  • Proof of accommodation in Portugal;
  • Proof of basic understanding of the Portuguese language. This is equivalent to A2 level

What Our Clients Are Saying

There are several ways to obtain Permanent Residence in Portugal. Our immigration lawyers will guide you through the process step-by-step.

Frequently Bought Together

Tax ID Number (NIF - Portugal)

New residents in Portugal require a Tax ID Number (NIF) for financial transactions and compliance with tax obligations and public services access.

D7 Visa

The D7 visa is a type of long-term visa that enables people to live in Portugal based on their income or passive income.

Non-habitual residence

Non-habitual residence status provides tax benefits and incentives for individuals who wish to reside in Portugal.

Our work is to make clients happy

We are a department formed by qualified legal experts who have been trained in the field of immigration law. We work on these requests every day and it’s our passion. For us, Lexidy is a way of life and what excites us the most is to be able to deliver the happiness and satisfaction of a successful immigration process. We want to help you achieve your goals and dreams.

Vasco Dias

Vasco Dias

Thabata Mota

Thabata Mota

Legal Trainee
Diana Andrade

Diana Andrade

Lawyer, Head of Immigration Portugal
Gabriela Teruel

Gabriela Teruel

Legal Trainee
Margarida Vieira

Margarida Vieira

Legal Trainee
Marina Tomini

Marina Tormin

Bruna Duarte

Bruna Duarte

Legal Trainee
Ricardo Lopes

Ricardo Lopes


Frequently Asked Questions

Besides the obvious benefits of being able to live, work, and study in Portugal, as well as travel freely within the Schengen Area, which temporary residency also offers, there are some benefits to permanent residency.


The main benefit of permanent residency over temporary residency is that it lasts for longer, so there are fewer renewals and less paperwork. Most third-coutnry nationals have to renew their permit every one or two years when in Portugal. Even those who are citizens of the EU, EEA or Switzerland will only have their temporary residency granted for five years at a time and so can enjoy the benefits of less bureaucracy.

For most, especially those without an EU passport, obtaining Portuguese citizenship makes sense. However, there are reasons that plays in favour of the permanent residency. 


The first is limitations around dual citizenship. Although Portugal recognises dual citizenship, some countries, such as China, don’t, which means that the applicant would need to give up to his current passport for a Portuguese one. Therefore, it may be better to keep the current passport and retain Portuguese permanent residency. While this wouldn’t allow the permanent resident in Portugal to easily move to another EU country, they could still reside in Portugal and easily travel throughout the Schengen Area. 

There are no minimum stay requirements for Permanent Residence but it may be cancelled if the holder, without an acceptable justification, is absent from Portugal for 24 consecutive months, or 30-months non-consecutively over five years. 

Typically, the Portuguese Immigration officials will only demand to see proof that the holder has actually lived in the country or a reason why they’ve been absent.

If the citizen has dependent family members, like a spouse, dependent children or dependent parent and they are not entitled to the EU freedom of movement, they may apply for a permanent residence card after having possessed a residence card of non-EU dependent relatives for five years.

Yes, but if you have a temporary residence permit, you cannot be absent for more six consecutive months or eight months throughout the validity of the temporary residence permit card.

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